Our Friend the Computer

CAPTAIN (Pre-Internet Networks)

April 26, 2022 Our Friend the Computer Season 1 Episode 7
Our Friend the Computer
CAPTAIN (Pre-Internet Networks)
Show Notes Transcript

Camila shares her research on the Japanese videotex system CAPTAIN. The girls discuss competing videotex protocols, how to informatize a country, biased reporting, and if a network can be successful in its aims even if the actual system failed.

Camila’s film ‘Vecino Vecino’ is premiering 6pm Thursday May 5th at Prismatic Ground experimental documentary festival in New York. Tickets and info here: https://www.screenslate.com/events/prismatic-ground-2022 

Follow us on Twitter @OurFriendComp
And Instagram @ourfriendthecomputer

 Main research for the episode was done by Camila. Ana audio edited.
 Music by Nelson Guay (SoundCloud: fluxlinkages)

- Arai, Yoshio. “History of the development of telecommunications infrastructure in Japan.” Netcom 33 (2019)
- Baijal, Pradip. “From Nationalisation to Privatisation: UK and Japan.” Economic and Political Weekly 35, no. 13 (March 2000): 1101-1106
- “Evolutionary Network Development of Japan's Computer Networking.” Japan - Germany Information Technology Forum, Oita Japan. Nov 8, 1994
- Gabriel, Michael R. “Videotex and Teletex: Waiting for the 21st Century?” Educational Technology 28, no. 3 (March 1988): 27-31
- Lehmann, Yves. “Videotex: A Japanese Lesson.” Telecommunications 28, iss. 7 (July 1994): 53-54
- Morris-Suzuki, Tessa. “Beyond Computopia: Information, Automation and Democracy in Japan.” Kagan Paul International Limited, London. 1988
- Ohlin, Tomas. “The Baby Networks: Nordic Positions Before the Internet.” 3rd History of Nordic Computing (Oct 2010): 278-286
- Pollack, Andrew. “Technology: The Japanese Challenge; Japan’s Drive to Automate.” The New York Times, August 10, 1984. https://www.nytimes.com/1984/08/10/business/technology-the-japanese-challenge-japan-s-drive-to-automate.html 
- West, Joel, and Dedrick, Jason, and Kraemer,  Kenneth L. “Reconciling Vision and Reality in Japan's NII Policy.” Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations, University of California, Irvine (1996)

Hi, everyone. Welcome to our friend the computer. This is a project that uses history to kind of interrogate what it means to be a human in relationship with computers. I'm Ana Meisel. I'm a web developer, and I work in online education, and I'm with Camila as always. What's up? I'm a writer. Visual artist, filmmaker. Yeah. Yeah. Podcast host. Yes. And you are going to be screening some things, right? Yes I'm a filmmaker. And I have evidence of it. Yeah, I. I made a film over kind of the last couple of years. Pandemic really stopped me in the middle of the It's going to screen at a festival in New York at the festival because Prismatic ground, it's like a experimental documentary festival. It's running May 4th to May 8th. And my film is called Vecino Vecino. It's like 20 minutes long. The little thing that I wrote about it is against the backdrop of the 2019 Chilean social uprising Vecino Vecino deconstructs an archived TV news report about the MAPU Lautaro, a left wing armed organization who fought against the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile in the 1980s. So it's an experimental doc that kind of joins sort of this. It's me investigating and unpacking this kind of archival. It's a French TV documentary about this group. So I unpack it like based on the archival notes, but also the movement of the people and, and the like language. So a lot of my work look about Chile, which is kind of one side of my practice, my dad is Chilean, kind of my, my Spanish is sort of intermediate and I had to learn it myself. And so a lot of my work looks at kind of mistranslation and identity creation through kind of cultural documents, cultural texts and yeah, this like barrier of language. So there's also some sort of this French, Spanish and English in it. So there's kind of weird translations, I kind of subtitling and things. There is a, there are subtitles, but kind of the purpose of it, like with the project, the, which was also about Chile, the, the purpose of it is that some people won't be able to understand some things and some will be honest and others and I definitely put stuff in there that I think only Chileans will really get the importance of this. A song that I use, particularly that I don't translate. But if you know what the song is and what it plays over, it has a lot of meaning. But, you know, you still find meaning in it without that knowledge. This kind of different entry points. But yet I mean and I other news is that that project's red is red and justice peaches and bananas, which was how we met and a commissioned me for her platform external pages. And she coded coded the project. It's like an interactive web based documentary piece, but that is actually being published in an MIT journal called Thresholds. It's the 50th edition. The theme is before and after, and that project looks at socialist computer histories before and after the Pinochet dictatorship. And we it looks at Project Sebastian, which we talked about in our first episode. So that's going to be available from July 1st. But we're recording this on Friday 22nd of April, and there's an exhibition and that runs from today through to May 18th at MIT Keller Gallery through Cambridge. But then there's like a journal as well, right? Yeah, it's in the Journal. So I wrote like a little intro about the project, and then there's some sort of stills and captions and stuff about it. And it's really the journal looks really cool. Like it's a beautiful object as well. So and it's exciting to kind of have that project alongside all of this other, all these other amazing projects and research and, you know, I love academic journals, so I'm mostly just very excited to be in one. I know. A mighty press. Yeah. So I'm on the the the journal is available soon, July 1st, and my film is screening May 5th at Maysles Documentary Center. I'm in wave three, the memory of a memory. And you can purchase tickets from Prismatic ground, I think, through screen slate. So it's like a digital thing that you can just like view the person that they're doing. But I think the digital screening as well, but I'm not sure what the details we can put that on, it will put on. So yeah, I'd like to know because I want to watch as well. Yeah, but yeah, I guess we're going to talk about a different video Six Network today, which is the the Captain, which was a Japanese video tech system. And Camilla, you did so much research on this. It's like insanely impressive. I don't think I'll have that much to talk about, but we'll see. Maybe I'll chime in here and there, but I can't wait for this one because it's really, really good. Thank you. I always like to hear your your thoughts and comments. I guess we've been looking at a bunch of video tech systems in Europe, but I wanted to kind of look at what was happening around the rest of the world as well. So the idea and implementation of video tech systems really had swept through Europe in the seventies and eighties, but it did extend around the globe as well. They were often expansions of these European systems that we've looked at like, Presto and Mini tell. This includes some systems in the U.S. Canada had something called Teledyne. Both Australia and New Zealand had systems, and I think New Zealand's one was mainly focused on helping travel agents, book things. And I've seen this screen of like a travel agent booking system and it looks like it's on video. It's like it's, it's really like lo fi. And French minister was also trying to expand. They attempted an expansion to Ireland, the U.S. and Brazil. Actually, I think that it is its own protocol. I don't think that that their system was like a presto base. I couldn't find like what they called it. But this the like name for the for their system was called captain, which stood for character and pattern telephone access information network. Hm. I like that. I like that one. So the character and pattern part of this refers to an aspect that was unique to this Japanese network. It was able to transmit high quality, calligraphic and often pre-rendered text as images. So the system was developed by the NTT, the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation. It began with a test service in December 1979, which ran through March 1981 before being introduced in November 1984, originally in Tokyo and Osaka before being extended to other major cities in 1985. So since the 1960s, a national slogan for Japan's future direction and government policy was the term jaka or Informatization, which is a great word for limitation. It signified a move towards a more information on knowledge oriented society, with information industries being important for the Japanese economy. This was a discussion happening in many countries and among sociologists like Daniel Bell, Tessa Maurice Suzuki. In her book Beyond Company, Topia, explains Bell's vision of the information society. Though this term was actually coined in Japan and credited to Hashi Yuichi ARU, and she explained it as in a quote, embracing the growing role of organized theoretical research in industry, the increasing importance of information as a source of value, the shift of employment from agriculture, industry or services to the information sector, the computerization of society and the fusion of computer and communications technologies. So over the decades, the way to achieve this goal shifted with changing technologies. And in the seventies and eighties, there was a growth of interest in new forms of communication and how that might lead to new forms of societal structures and participation. And some researchers were even beginning to look at the possibility of services and applications with democratic possibilities such as electronic voting. Japanese sociologist Eunji Masuda, recognized by many as the father of the Information Society, wrote several reports for the Japanese government looking at possible social effects of computers alongside books such as 1968, an Introduction to the Information Society and 1980s The Information Society as post-Industrial Society, which I'm currently reading, and it's great. I think we might maybe do something about that in the future. So these issues had been debated in Japan from the sixties, and video techs was a way to enact some of the theory. It's really interesting how I mean, I've been thinking a lot about like especially having done the mental episode and how a lot of these technologies kind of came about in the eighties. The video techs, ones I keep thinking of, like how Marc Fisher always talks about the eighties being like the end of history, like the arrival of like this post ideological world pretty much. And I guess, yeah, I guess like with the invention of all these technologies and the fact that like the economy has shifted from industrialization to in for magnetization, mechanization, it yeah, like the invention of these technologies like really played a part in that in the fact that like the economy is like based on documenting archiving and like shifting numbers around and not like creating things, that's like very basic kind of take. But yeah, I've been thinking a lot about like the eighties as that kind of end of of history. Well, that's when I was born. I really I was the I was the end of history. Yeah, exactly. I mean, yeah, like, I think what's what I found interesting about this idea of like Japan having kind of this idea, this concept of informatization from the sixties is that and as I said earlier, that like the ways to achieve that changed over the decades. But it was, it was like it wasn't so much that maybe that tech was happening. And so then they were like, oh, the world was like, Oh, okay, let's follow the tech. And it just naturally was like a goal. And then and money was government money was put into developing technology to achieve that goal. Yeah. And stuff was being taken. Things were being taken up because there was a government policy around that. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. So Captain folded into a larger new media network called the Information Network System or I and S, which was originally proposed in 1979 by entities. Yes. Who sat De Katara. And I found this laid out in Tessa Ma Suzuki's 1988 book Beyond Utopia, which I mentioned earlier. The the ions included different forms of communication, so audio, visual and data that existed on a large scale network made of glass, fiber optic cables and communications with satellites which replaced the then current copper cable telephone network. And it was a 20 year effort beginning with services in 1988. And they hope that by 1995 the network would have incorporated all communications networks like telephone, telex, video, text, etc. So I say this, but I actually couldn't really find references to the I.N.S. outside of this book. And this book was written in 1988 when when it started, I don't know if if this was just like a goal that they had and it was laid out or, or, or if it was the actual first use of like communication via satellite. Yeah. Like, I don't know if it because that's what we use now. Yeah. It seems like because the I.N.S. wasn't really mentioned outside of this book, I guess it was just like a vision. I can imagine it probably wasn't instantiated. I would like to know more about this, that maybe this. Maybe there's more information that's in, like, Japanese language stuff, but I. I couldn't find it. Sounds cool, though. So the Captain Video Text Network was accessed most commonly through a TV screen with a special adapter rather than a terminal. And at the start it was mostly providing like basic news and weather services, and while later it was kind of updated to include other services because of how it started, most consumers continued to think of it as a text based news and weather service and also had trouble, I think, differentiating it from television because of how it was accessed. And the second point was also an issue because teletext services, we're also beginning to be off at around the same time, which is text displayed on a TV screen alongside TV images. And I think we said this in every episode a bit like, well, teletext is a one way broadcasting information Video text services such as captain allows for two way communication. But Captain wasn't really utilizing this at the beginning and it was also so sort of solely broadcasting text right at the start, which when unfairly compared to television, could never hold its own, you know, or sound or moving image. And the same news and weather information was being presented on TV programs in a much more interesting way. So while captain had the ability to transmit high quality images and sound, most services remain text based mainly because anything more would take an excessively long time to load. Web 1.0. Ladies and gentlemen, the the system was developed to be able to transmit much higher quality color images than other systems like Minato or Presto and NTT felt that this would be a good marketing tactic, but it was also kind of necessary because the system was not able to store the amount of Japanese characters that were in use. So instead, entity developed captain to transmit certain characters as graphics through a dot matrix procedure up to $248 per line in 204 lines per screen way. So some of the characters were like transformed into other characters that would kind of work as like acronyms or something. I don't know. I think it was more that like instead of it being transmitted as text, they would like transcribed transcript of the word where a tech history of outcome of transcript. The like turn the a text based image. It's a text screen into an image all like the lines of of text. We're actually like little images rather than this is really about description I don't really have an answer I think I know what you mean. Yeah because I mean you get that issue now still with fonts as well, where it's easier to to write something out and then move those letters around an expert as an image rather than use it as a font. Because though the the letters will have like certain spacing in between and yeah, I guess if they didn't have the technology to like mess around with like letter spacing and line spacing, then it would have been easier to explore as an image. I think that that makes sense. I think it's maybe also that like the the systems had, they didn't have enough memory to to like hold all of the characters. Yeah right. Yeah. And so instead of like relying on the individual terminals or adapters or whatever to have that information or even like load the font and all the letters, it's more of a like downloading of a image rather than like loading the font and then the from the local town. Yeah. So this allowed for transmission, but like images, because they were images, it was exceedingly slow. Some screens could take up to 7 minutes to load and because because pages would take so long to load and the like. I guess the text images were smaller so they would load quicker and suggested that service providers have smaller, smaller like actual images alongside the text, hoping that users would be distracted by reading the information that they wouldn't notice how slow the images were taking to load. So and his his original goal had been to have 1 million subscribers in three years from the 1985 launch. But by 1992 they still only had 120,000. This was partly due to the public not being able to differentiate the value of the captain system from things such as television we talked about earlier and also later interactive telephones and PCs. So from the mid-nineties onwards, NTT began strongly marketing captains to a interactive capabilities that was for things such as home banking, but due to the slower loading times and because it was still mainly access not via the dedicated terminals but via the technologies, Captain was never taken up at a large enough scale to survive the arrival of the Internet, and the system was closed in March 2002. It seems a little while to me whenever I hear of these video tech systems, like trying to apply banking systems first in like their features, I'm like, How do they think that was going to be a good idea? Like people don't trust these new technologies to be able to, like, take their money and then send it somewhere else. Like in if you're thinking about kind of digitalizing populations that have no prior knowledge of like digital tech and are probably, you know, working hard to like, earn their money and go go to the bank and or like maybe even like use cash. Well would have definitely used cash then. Yeah, it's kind of crazy to me that some of these systems were like, Oh yeah, we're just going to launch like a banking feature and that's going to bring in loads of subscribers. It's like it's often I found it's like banking and buying tickets, like transport tickets, Train tickets, Yeah. So maybe those, those two things are the would have like the most impact. Right. Like, and I think I read something, I think that like around this time banks had very short opening hours and I remember that even from when I was a kid. That's true. Yeah. I mean it like doing the tags. Yeah. So maybe like the the idea of like being able to just do basic banking from your home actually was quite impactful. And I think maybe it's a two way thing with the security concerns because while yeah, like, oh my God, it's like a computer controlling my money at the same time. Maybe that isn't early on. There's not so much concern on security. Yeah, I just, yeah. If for some reason like I am always baffled by the fact that kind of forums and chats weren't introduced other than mental like these kind of entertainment, I guess services or kind of fun things that you can do with your friends or games or that was introduced sort of like later on. But I mean, I guess the answer to that is quite obvious, right? Because it's like by introducing these technologies, they want to increase the kind of rate of the economy. They want to increase financialisation and they want to make money. So it does make sense, like you wouldn't have like the Internet focused on entertainment industries or leisure kind of features first. But then but then when like Hollerith catalog came out in the States and they started using the Internet, for instance, like a forum and like a social media, I it was so kind of late in the game. I feel that anyway, that's just like but I think the difference here is that like it's a government project and Minotaur was different because while it was run by the government, they allowed private organizations to provide services. And so that's why I think there were these like chat rooms and entertainment services because that would get those organizations money because people were like engaged. But in this case, it's more about like digitizing the government services. Yeah, yeah. Too about the government's boring philosophy. Like we have anti-government, anti-establishment entity. Actually, we're like in the process of privatizing when captain was launched. So they started privatizing in 1985. And when that happened, other video techs protocols were kind of able to be developed by Japanese companies. So they weren't participating in Kapton, but they were trying to do other stuff. So this included a joint venture with AT&T to put a in put a system in Tokyo hotel chains. And there were also other companies who were developing partnerships with European countries. But the hurdle was that not all video tech standards were compatible. And so AT&T is American, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Wow. Cool. By the by the eighties, there were two main video tech standards being used in Europe, which we've talked about in previous episodes, the Presto View data system in the UK and the tell tale hotel system in France and that other countries were already investing in these systems when the Central European Telecom Organization C EP T set about defining a common video tech standard in the early eighties because there were multiple standards across countries and with companies and service providers spending money developing applications for specific standards, it was difficult to form a unified, connected service. Cooperation was also resisted as countries who had developed their own standards were holding out hope that this would be the one to gain global traction. So the CFP ended up establishing four main profiles CBT one, which was the German Btecs. How do you say that? And what's the actual build text I think you're doing? You're going to do a little episode on that coming up. Oh yes. See if you to see EP two, which is French Minutes, how three British press Dell and four which is Swedish Presto plus Yeah that's really interesting that you have the P the kind of Central European telecom organizations put under this like stamp the CPT stamp when they didn't really have they weren't really that kind of technically connected. But then you had like the American ARPANET, just like boom in the meantime. Yeah, I mean, I guess we saw it with the Intel and Presto episode cards where, yeah, I mean, they kind of developed similar at similar times, but they weren't like compatible. They weren't compatible with each other. And so I guess this was just a way of trying to, I don't know, maybe it's like trying to stop others from developing things and trying to make those or the other countries like really get the project right. Yeah, well, I mean, I will go I think I'm going to go into depth a little bit about that in the work net episode. And I think we're also doing a kind of bonus episode about the Brazilian Minato system. So it'll be interesting to kind of look at how the French network expanded. Yeah, also interesting that it's seeped because central European time. So an set, it's very close, very close to the I just because it seems like it they were with with the kind of acronym C PTA it's almost like they were trying to initialize a a type of like standard, you know, like a type of, like computing standard, like a Central European standard, which wasn't like a time zone, but it was like computer was like a weird conspiracy theory. But yeah, conspiracy theory, absolutely. But I so I guess when I was researching this podcast, I found this in the minutes. So episode research too. I think I talked about it in that episode, but these are different viewpoints that come across in articles from the U.S. versus the rest of the world. I found a New York Times article from 1984, which wasn't that useful for the research, but interesting to think about the way these technologies and societies are framed. It's called the Japanese Challenge Japan's drive to automate and include subheadings like trailing U.S. companies, competition, stressed, weakened building systems and a little bit afraid. It also heavily advocates for deregulation, which was a debate happening at the time of publication in Japan. And like many of the other video tech systems in other countries, Captain was originally a government run project administered by the postal and telephone agency. And as we talked about earlier, in 1985, just as captain was being widely launched, entity was privatized, that the the Ministry of Finance still held the majority of the shares like throughout the eighties. Interesting technology housing societies in the early days was really kind of manipulated a lot as almost a type of propaganda that would endorse the nation that it's set in or maybe just like antagonize its enemy states. Like in know fifties America computers were seen as as socialist and like red and inherently sort of evil because it turned humans into workers or robots. Also like the word robot is it's like a Czech word robot. That means to work. Really? Yeah. Yeah. So like, so technology and robots were like, seen as like this, this evil that would like turn society and just into just like a working dystopia. But yeah and that but that was in the fifties that was like way before digital technologies were really invented or used. But this was yeah, before also cybernetics boomed. And then in the sixties, America took on cybernetics in government through military industries. So the role or popular reputation in the kind of straight or Republican rhetoric of the computer in society completely flipped once they found a way to like, implement it for their own political power and yeah, it's been interesting. You know, we started our first with our first two episodes of projects from like the sixties and early seventies and then moving through to eighties, nineties and seeing that change. And this article, it's basically like a, you know, a us, a US article, yeah. Advocating for the privatization of Japan's telephone network without kind of much knowledge. There's like not much in the article that really explains why it's just like because privatization is good. Yeah yeah yeah It's so like in this article, it's like the decades of research, discussion and movement towards an information society is sort of lost. This is a this is a quote from the article. Several factors have hindered development of automated communications networks in Japan. One is that the Japanese have tended to stress development of individual pieces of equipment that have been weak in organizing them into complex systems and inviting the software to run them. Another factor has been strict regulation, which is thwarted use of advanced technologies. For example, the phone company is a monopoly which prevents entrepreneurial companies from setting up advanced computing, which prevents entrepreneurial companies from setting up advanced computer communication systems, which I mean that like it's just sort of not true, right? I mean, in in a sense that like, it doesn't have to be the case like we saw with Minato, the kind of joint public private venture made was what caused municipal to be so successful and sort of just being like, well, they're behind. They're not good at organizing this stuff into complex systems. So it's it's, it's just not it's kind of not true. I mean, I don't think regulation has anything to do with it. Like I would say, it's just like maybe like bad project management in terms of which could happen anyway, which could happen anywhere with in terms of like seeing, see, seeing the potential of the technology and what it can do and what the society would actually benefit from. Regulation doesn't have anything, especially financial regulation. I don't see how that has anything but yeah, I yeah, I also I disagree, but I think there's also just this feeling and this just even from this quote of like and the and the little titles like we can building systems trailing us companies of of like a fear that Japan is going to take over the US like in the mid nineties the US started to use rhetoric like the information superhighway and also began really positioning US tech companies as globally competitive, particularly against the Japanese market. But this notion sort of moved to Japan as well and there was a general feeling of this like needing to catch up with the US, which was a prominent concept in the Japanese press and tech literature such as Glenn Fukushima's 1995 book, The Threat of the Super Highway The Crisis of the Annihilation of the Japanese Information Industry. And and we saw this in Minato, too, with this idea of like the French delay. This feeling of them like needing to catch up to the US, but really, like these countries are sort of doing their own thing. They weren't technologically behind. It was just that like when the I think like when the internet sort of came through, they'd been working on their own projects and so they went like, yeah, in line with the U.S. but they were sort of on their own tracks and had all of the like thinking and theory and, you know, yeah, dreams and dreams and plans as well. Yeah. And still the like ARPANET was. And when they started using the term information superhighway, that was, that was a state funded like it's just funny because the the U.S. was only like slightly more advanced with tech at that point because of the sixties kind of influx of state funding to tech industries and organizations because of that fear of of of having to. But they kind of wanted to overcome the Soviets tech headway and like Cosmo techniques in the in the fifties so they just like poured loads of money into tech industries and that was all, that was all military funded, that was all state funded. So yeah, like again, you have this rise of technology that progressing due to nations trying to like one up each other or they were just like scared of each other. Right. But it's also, it's also like about this, this idea of like national autonomy and not wanting to rely on international. Yeah. Which was seen in pretty much all of these projects. So Japan really strong in development and production of hardware like that is true. But that was sort of because of this. Yeah. Like national autonomy idea. And it did mean that there had been not like such there wasn't such a big focus on the development of software. I did find a quote from an article titled Reconciling Vision and Reality in Japan's into Policy from 1986. So this is a quote Despite the desirability to shift from producing tangible, hard to intangible soft goods, Japan has not become a major worldwide supplier of software and other intangible information technology products. Thus far, Japan's role in the global computer industry has remained primarily in electronic components and peripherals, with a limited role in complete computer systems and in negligible role in software. Public policy debates on information technology is still dominated by considerations of manufacturing and selling hardware. But we can also look back to the shift after the Second World War, right? Like when many new technologies had been developed. Mara Suzuki points out that quite by the second half of the fifties, when Japanese companies were beginning to have the capital necessary for major imports of technology, there was a large supply of tested and tried foreign knowhow available for them to choose from. So yeah, like they were using sort of international tech because they hadn't had the ability to develop them themselves. However, like by the late sixties there was a real shift in attitude around this. So as as Japan began being seen as on their way to being a major industrial power and competition, European and United States companies were not so willing anymore to provide their technology to Japan, and Japan began focusing on developing their own products and on technological exports. And another quote from our Suzuki a wholehearted national commitment to research and development for technological nation building. Ha! So Japan was a major industrial power in terms of creating hardware and then the US and Europe stopped kind of providing their technology to Japan. But that like that is just such a dumb move because obviously they're just going to, like you said, with this, with this like sovereign, independent nation attitude as well. You just start creating your own technology and you start creating your own software with your hardware. And yeah, that's just it's kind of kind of sad that the US and European nations didn't want to kind of collaborate and just saw like Japan as a threat. Well, we see that in that article. You know, it's like, it's like, oh, they're the other and they're like the idea is that they're very you know, they're getting really good at tech but don't worry. Like, they're not really like they have all these issues but like, yeah, I don't know. Just this, you know, it all comes after the war. Yeah, it all comes from the war. And also this like kind of fear of the east, you know, because that was also what exactly what happened with OG US and ARPANET kind of OGs being the Soviet Internet and ARPANET is invented as to combat that. And the Cold War was very real at that time. And, and maybe also like with this fear of Japan, I don't know, maybe there is also kind of this like racist attitude towards the East to me because just like in the east, yeah, it's coming from the east. So therefore it's like other and it's like bad, right? But you know, the truth is that they were doing so much work in this area and important work that influenced the rest of the world. So, so there was a series of important government papers in Japan on the topic of the information society. So from 1969, with Japan's Information Society themes and visions through to 1983, with the Information Society and Human Life, other other papers include policy outlines for promoting the information ization Informatization of Japanese Society 1969 The Plan for an Information Society 1971 and Signposts to a Prosperous Information Society 1981. Hmm. Well, so utopian. Yeah, totally. So it's like through the decades these, plans for Informatization became really complex and nuanced. Another point that isn't it's not really like a fully fleshed out concept for me. I found this line in that article from before reconciling vision and reality, but I can't find the reference that they're talking about. So it's here. Hiroo, Matsu and Akira, 1991 is the reference. This is the can't argue that though this first information boom had little impact in Japan. It was exported to Europe, from which it inspired a similar boom in North America and started a second boom in Japan in the late seventies and early eighties. So perhaps while Japan's research and push for an information information society, you know, from the sixties was the beginning, by the time it came sort of back to them like that influence the rest of the world. But yeah, when it came sort of back to them, they were kind of on a different track or they went, Yeah, I don't know, something I guess what we were talking about before with this like disruption of, with this disruption of the way that tech was produced in Japan. I just, I found that line really interesting. Yeah. Because the 1880s was the end of history. Yeah. So yeah, everyone was was was behind track. But I think like history doesn't always have to be comparative. But it's also interesting to think about the ways that ideas can influence action across the globe, that these concepts that were developed in Japan were important to the US development, but Japan was pushing in these areas long like before the internet, before the US dotcom tech boom, doing all sorts of experimental projects and developments in telecommunications in an effort to change society for the better. You know, another quote from our Suzuki One very important aspect of the new media is that interactive nature, rather than merely conveying information from a central producer to passive as conventional radio and television, do they make possible a two way communications for? Consequently, proponents of the Information Society believe that they will not only bring regional communities closer together, but will also promote a more equitable flow of information between various regions and between various groups in society And that's a really beautiful way to think about how this information society can really affect individuals. Yeah, with with the kind of the introduction of two way communication. Yeah. And you know, I think also there could have been so much done like it's just nice reflecting back these projects because we can see where the project had failed and we can see how it could have therefore improved or how it could have continued. I don't know. It's just really fun to think about these like failed features, like this weather report feature and the what was the other one news. Yeah. And how they only kind of like displayed it in this in this passive way, just like TV. And I wonder if they could have expanded with this two way communication, like how these features would have progressed. And I just think about things like, I don't know, like an input system where everyone reports the weather around them and then kind of creates this like news, like weather news report crowd. It's like it's a crowdsourced like, yeah, a collaborative like weather report. What is that What do you know. Do you have that that out way ways? Yeah. Ways exactly. Or even just like Google Maps driving. Yeah, like Google Maps also kind of bases a lot of its like traffic reports on the speed that you're traveling. And they also like, ask you if you get the train, they ask you like, yeah how busy was your train. Yeah. And then they report like busy areas. I don't know. I just find it really cute, like reflecting back on it. You know, we have a like you said, we have a lot of the things that these networks were trying to build right. But to me, it feels a little very overwhelming. Like even though, you know, we access it all on our phone or on the computer, it feels like accredited banking. I have to go to this place to do this other thing. I have to go to this place. Like so the transit stuff, it's like Google Maps or whatever and whatever, and it's just like, okay, we have all this ability, but it's not central centralized. And I realize I realize that we're trying to like we're getting more into decentralization. So I'm not advocating for centralization. But I think, you know, if you think of like The Jetsons or, you know, like these kind of dream utopian, futuristic dreams that came through with culture in our society and stuff, it's often like a centralized thing, right? Like you have like one device that you go to and you're like, it's like the house robot and you talk to them and they can do all the things. But the reality we have is way more dispersed and there's pros and cons to all of this stuff. But yeah, well, also because of like, yeah, hyper privatization and all of these like tech startups spawning from original projects that like found kind of like a gap in the market that they can private privatize on and then invent an app and people start using it just because it's like slightly easier to use and navigate your life through it. But at the end of the day, you're just doing so much more admin and you're actually just like providing all these companies with so much data. And yeah, I mean, you end up, you end up being the worker and you're like hyper employed, as many people like to call it. But yeah, so I kind of want to actually like negate my point early from earlier where I find it inspiring to hear about the failed features because actually the failed features I think is something that I really desire Now where I don't want it to be a two way communication system, but I don't want to put in my information to like, see able to get something back. I don't have to want to make an account for everything. I don't want to give apps like my information, like I don't want to be a worker for them. And yeah, maybe this like web 1.0 or video text. I mean, teletext. You call web 0.010.0. Exactly would have been actually just really nice if it stayed around. Yeah, maybe it's just like the dream versus the reality of it, you know? But yeah, I had one final kind of comment on the Captain network on sort of this era of Japanese tech following on from Mara Suzuki, speaking about kind of joining regions and groups together due to these experimental telecommunications projects that were often targeting connecting rural and remote communities. Japan was a leader in telecommunications technology right up until the U.S. dot com era of the nineties. Television, radio, satellite, teletext, video, text, fax were all used and built out quite extensively and and though they went through updates, the sort of strong backbone of the telecommunications network I think is like remained largely unchanged even with the adoption of the internet. So it's not that all of the things were for nothing you know it built up. Yeah. Like a strong tech employed population. Yeah. The informatics ization of society was a success. Yeah. And like, I guess to try and get to that point and you know, like I said at the start, that it's this idea, this move towards the informatization of society started in the sixties, did all sorts of experiments and established all sorts of things to kind of achieve that. And as the tech change, they tried different stuff. So, you know, we're talking about kept in the video techs network because we've been looking at other video techs, networks and systems around the globe. But yeah, like it was part of a larger governmental and cultural movement towards kind of this a more positive attitude towards tech. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I think that that was largely achieved. Definitely. Yeah. No, you're absolutely right. Yeah. So next episode I think is going to it's a bonus episode and it's looking at video Textor which is of the Minotaur expansion into Brazil. We're going to be looking at it through the context of art cool of video, text, artwork. Really? Yeah. Origin that art or video video starts videos. I mean, if it was a network that it was net net art. That's so cool. So that's the end of episode. If you enjoyed this, please, uh, you know, give us, give us some little stars or maybe like a semi viral tweet that we have a semi viral one. So if you want to go see, see what that is? We're on Twitter. Our friend comp full name is too long. Our Instagram, our friend, the computer. Yeah. So yeah, we like to post a lot of screenshots from old computer magazines because that is what I do in my state. That's really good. I admire your index, like visual research and all of these because I'm so lazy. I just like Google image, everything. I don't actually go into any online archives or like my favorite narrator. I know you, me, and I'm so busy. I'm like, If it takes more than like five clicks till I get to an image, I'm like, I'm not doing it, but, you know, there it is. So that's probably going to just secret like research. I mean, that's going to go into like feature episodes. No, I'm just kidding. I research all of my episodes and you do a lot of good research. Thank you. Should go to that next one to go like so that was super. Yeah, that Saturday. And yeah, we'll see you in the next one by.